fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

Category Archives: sequester

FAH Applauds Passage of H.R. 1295 Removing Medicare Sequester Offset

June 11, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Legislation, Medicare, Sequester

Today, the FAH submitted a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging the passage of the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 1295). The FAH applauds the House of Representatives for passing this legislation this afternoon. The House Leadership made the critically important decision to remove the cuts to the Medicare program as a means to pay for aspects of the legislation.

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Federal Funding Cuts To Hospitals Escalate To $142.6 Billion

May 18, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Health Care Delivery, Legislation, Medicare, Sequester

Hospitals are the cornerstones of the communities we serve. Together with our physician partners and other caregivers, we provide life-saving, high quality care 24/7/365. Hospitals need stable revenue streams to continue providing these services, including federal Medicare payments to fund care for the elderly and disabled. Unfortunately, policymakers are continuing to use Medicare hospital payments as a piggybank to fund other health and non-health-related programs which threatens our ability to provide the care our communities need.

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Hospital Community Opposes Proposed Sequestration Cut

April 22, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Medicare, Sequester

In letters to both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, the FAH and other leading hospital and health system organizations opposed legislative language proposed this week during trade bill negotiations that would extend Medicare sequestration.

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The Fiscal Health of Hospitals: The Impact of More Than $400 Billion in Cuts

November 06, 2014 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog

Category: Legislation, Medicare, Sequester

The 2014 mid-term elections are now behind us, and the nation looks ahead to a busy legislative calendar in lame duck and into 2015. At this time, it is important to take stock of the fiscal landscape for hospitals and the communities we serve across the country. Understanding the operational reality hospitals face is critically important; policymakers cannot overlook the continuing burden of significant cuts that hospitals face in the short and long-term.

As the graphic below illustrates, hospitals are bearing the entirety of $121.9 billion in cuts enacted since 2010. And these numbers do not include the more than $320 billion in hospital Medicare and Medicaid cuts related to the Affordable Care Act. All told, hospitals face a staggering $400+ billion in cuts over the next ten years.

These cuts are a financial pile-on, with Congress and the Administration leaning continually on Medicare to help offset costs in other sectors of the economy, or to forestall a pressing economic crisis. And with Medicare viewed as a fail-safe bailout piggybank, hospitals are being pushed to our limits.

As a result, hospitals face -8% Medicare margins in 2014 – an all-time low since Medicare’s inception in 1965. These cuts impact not only hospitals, but also threaten American seniors’ access to the critical hospital care they need.

Hospitals strive to protect patient access to care. Providing 24/7 care to patients in every community is the top priority for hospitals, and mounting cuts threaten our ability to do our jobs properly. We have said it once, but it bears repeating: hospital cuts are not just numbers on a budget sheet. The people behind these numbers are our patients, and when it comes to considering any future budget cuts, enough is enough.

Policymakers must remember that hospitals are working dutifully to provide quality care to every patient while making important investments (such as critical care, health IT, and staffing) to adapt to a transforming national model of integrated care. Financial cuts threaten all of this, and it is our patients and communities we serve who suffer as a result.

As the current legislative year winds to a close and Congress begins preparations for 2015, we urge Members of Congress and the Administration to remember that this national fiscal picture for hospitals extends to every hospital, in every state, in every community. The time has come to stop looking at Medicare payments to hospitals as a piggybank.

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